Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Arachne: swinging between actions and emotions



Building up to our "Morphing in progress" showing on 28th November, I felt uncertain of my choice of episode and unsettled by the difficulties it presented. I had picked the tale of Arachne - I really like this story, it feels so simple and yet in its simplicity it manages to evoke so many issues that remain relevant today (e.g., authority, creativity, skill, recognition, and how society operates with/around/against those notions) :
Arachne, a talented weaver, finds herself refusing to pledge allegiance to Minerva, goddess  of crafts, who seems to think that as a goddess, she ought to be thanked by Arachne for having such skilled hands. A weaving competition ensues, where Minerva and Arachne each produce a tapestry. Minerva chooses to depict the gods in all their splendour, and Arachne depicts the gods in all their turpitudes evoking scenes of transformations where gods turn themselves into animals to seduce mortals. Minerva, shocked, berates Arachne, who, in despair, hangs herself. Taking "pity" on Arachne, Minerva sprinkles her with powder provided by Hecate and turns her into a spider so that Arachne can keep weaving for the rest of her life - her and her descendants after her.
I picked this story for a number of reasons amongst which are the following :
  • previously I had only been characterising males (Lycaon, Daedalus, and Icarus) and I wanted to try myself out at a more familiar gender (!)
  • the story involved more characters than the previous ones, and two different "levels" of storytelling: the story between Minerva and Arachne, but also the stories evoked by each of their tapestries (which I heavily edited, as Ovid evokes 24 rapes in his description of Arachne's tapestry)
  • these stories were more easily defined by the actions that unfold than the previous stories I had worked on. 
This last point proved to be a sticky point. For Lycaon and Daedalus & Icarus I had first relied on their internal states and on their feelings to tell their stories, and then I devised corresponding actions (and for Icarus for instance it took some time before I was able to make him do things that felt right, that felt like him). Here, for Arachne and Minerva, the actions were so very clear that they imposed themselves to me. It seemed obvious that, for weaving, I had to use ballet for both of my main protagonists - in contrast with my Lycaon who had a butoh quality, and to my Daedalus & Icarus who had each their own physical space and texture. The pointed feet, the crisp shapes, and the stylised flowing movements of the ballet vocabulary had to be my choice for this story of weaving.
So the layering that first concerned me in rehearsals was that of adopting a specific texture or body quality for each character, and that whilst they were both undertaking the same activity, weaving, denoted by balletic vocabulary. And that somehow got me stuck in the realm of actions.
The lovely 15th century woodcut illustration below describes quite accurately the elements of action I had latched upon to spin Arachne's tale.
A crucial dimension that was missing was the emotional dimension (which is ironic, provided that I turned to Jung for my two previous pieces!). Why was Minerva so angry? And why was Arachne so desperate as to hang herself?

In a sense, Gustave Doré's evocation of Arachne in his illustration of Dante's Purgatorio represents what I was missing. Doré's depiction of Arachne oozes sadness and despair, without any hint as to what might have happened to her to get her there. What happened to her however is all in the woodcut illustration which in turn doesn't seem to convey much emotion.
Arachne in Dante's Purgatorio - by Gustave Doré
"Pur 12 aracne". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. 
Luckily, thanks to various discussions with Marie-Louise, Malcolm, and Susie, I was able to identify this important lacuna before the showing. 
I had to rectify my course and strike the right balance between the descriptive of the woodcut that almost spells out the whole narrative and the emotional of the Doré illustration.
Intriguingly, that sends us back to our character-emotion-action warm-ups... It's almost as if I had concentrated so much on the characters and their actions that I had all but forgotten about the emotions. In the end, based on the reactions from the audience, it seems that I did bring an emotional dimension to my performance and that it got through. 
I did feel Minerva's anger, her authority threatened by a nobody.  I also felt Arachne's despair, her sentiment of injustice, of being denied her own voice.

And I couldn't have done it without Malcolm's fabulous sounds. As the sequence of interventions of the characters was more complex, I instinctively concentrated more on the actions in order to not loose track of who comes next and doing what - but Malcolm's music was always there to, in turns, provide hints, support, provoke all the three (character, emotion, action) dimensions that we wanted to convey.  
In any case - that was yet another fascinating discovery and I'll have to keep working at it. 
I can't wait till we get back into the studio!  

Sunday, 31 August 2014

On Metamorphoses: Ovid and Jung

So - we've shown our work-in-progress in the striking Al-Jaber auditorium of Corpus Christi College Oxford, in front of what turned out to be a very enthusiastic audience! 
The response to our performance was amazing, and so very rewarding - we still feel like it's work-in-progress though (and accordingly, we didn't plan any fancy costumes or lighting as the pictures below show). Here was our programme (click on pictures for a larger view):

And here are some lovely shots of "Daedalus and Icarus" (thank you Bruno!): 
Malcolm Atkins and Ségolène Tarte
in "Daedalus and Icarus"
Photography: Bruno Guastalla


Ségolène Tarte in "Daedalus and Icarus"
Photography: Bruno Guastalla
Ségolène Tarte in "Daedalus and Icarus"
Photography: Bruno Guastalla





















Ségolène Tarte in "Daedalus and Icarus"
Photography: Bruno Guastalla
The programme allowed ample time for questions and answers with audience members, and we were able to give people a glimpse into the creative process that we, Avid for Ovid, have adopted.
One of our main "warm-up" technique has been to set ourselves exercises whereby we set out to improvise around a character (either named or identified as a typical profession), an emotion (or state - as defined by the greek word pathos), and an action (one in the list of choreographic terms from the original ADMD May 2013 workshop), these are randomly associated from three lists which we had previously drawn up. Examples of such triplet associations would be: Vulcan/doubt/extending-reaching; or Minerva/joy/walking; or sailor/grief/head-tossing (these are three of the four random draws we interpreted at the showing). This technique, although sometimes very unsettling is very effective when it comes to establishing characteristic gestures or stances for a character and setting it in motion. And when the audience was blind to the random triplets (as it was the case for two out of the four draws we made), it was extremely rewarding that they could identify what the triplet was. Even more so when they seemed to naturally append a story to a triplet; as an example, when I did the sailor/grief/head-tossing triplet, it was suggested I might have been Ulysses. 
This seems to point to the fact that even if we don't set out to tell an actual story (each triplet defines a basis for a character study rather than a story) both as a performer and as an audience, we have a natural tendency to make up a story that explains the association.

And that is already fascinating in and of itself! 

It also leads us back to the question of how we can make ancient Greco-Roman myths resonate in our contemporary society. Instinctively, I believe that any kind of resonance comes through emotional connection - and this has naturally lead me down the route of Jungian archetypes. In ancient Rome, it would have been reasonable to expect that everyone knew the myths, at least to some extent, but in contemporary society we cannot realistically assume a collective knowledge of these ancient myths - so what might be a common ground that we might be able to rely upon? Have any of these stories been conveyed down to us in different/modified forms, through folk and fairy tales for example? And this is where Jung's theory of archetypes and collective unconscious becomes an invaluable source of inspiration. Here are some of the texts I consulted throughout the process (and which I am still reading). 
Ovid's Metamorphoses, in the company of a volume assembling
 Jung's writings on archetypes and of some more focused texts
 dealing with specific archetypes and how they manifest
themselves through literature and in the real world. 
If you missed our work-in-progress and this has intrigued you, Avid for Ovid will be making a short appearance (twice 15 min, at 15:45 and 16:45) at the Festival of Ancient Tales on 3rd October 2014 organised by the IRIS project, feel free to come along... 
And we're still planning a full performance of course... Stay tuned :)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Disantiquating Antiquity

And now on to that third ongoing project...

It all started with a call for dancers to participate in an academic project from the University of Oxford in May 2013. The project is called Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers (ADMD) and its aim is to investigate through practice-based research what Ancient Roman Pantomime might have been like. The ancient evidence available to us is sparse and mostly textual. Ancient Roman Pantomime was a solo narrative dance form, performed with a closed mask (no declamation) to music at festivals. It recounted episodes from the Greek and Roman mythology.

The ADMD researchers were looking for dancers to participate in a workshop where each dancer was paired with a classicist. Each pair was given an excerpt from Ovid's Metamorphoses put to music by Malcolm Atkins, a list of choreographic terms (gathered from ancient sources), and three hours to draft up a danced interpretation of it in the style of Ancient Roman Pantomime. (Susie Crow reports on this initial workshop here)
I signed up and took part. It was a strange experience for me. As an academic, I have been doing ethnography of Classicists in the context of them deciphering papyri, wooden writing tablets, and such difficult to read documents. But there, I was involved as a dancer, as a subject in an ethnographic enquiry into the process of (re-)creating an ancient dance form. 
The presentation below sketches my experience of it all - as I reported upon it at the ADMD colloquium later in October 2013.


It was a bizarre and slightly split-personality experience, but also a fun one. And Susie, Malcolm, and I were so intrigued by all the ideas that the May 2013 workshops had turned up that we decided to carry on this work from an artists' point of view - an artistic research-based practice if you will, as a pendent to ADMD's academic practice-based research. 

This is how Avid for Ovid was born as a group and as a performance project. It runs in collaboration with the on-going ADMD project. 

In May 2014, ADMD (with support from DANSOX) ran three fascinating daylong workshops to further their research and feed Avid for Ovid's creative process. The first workshop was a Kathak workshop, led by Anuradha Chaturvedi. Kathak seems to be, in today's landscape of varied dance forms, the dance form that resembles the most what ancient roman pantomime might have been. Its extremely precise use of rhythms, space, gaze, and gestures lends it a high-definition quality that enables and supports storytelling. The second workshop was a butoh-inspired workshop, led by Yael Karavan. That workshop was more geared towards character building, introducing us to the intricacies of body qualities (water, earth, fire, air) and how different body qualities inhabiting/propelling different body parts in combination (eg water in the knees, fire in the upper body) can help generate richly textured characters, lending them very readable yet unique traits of character. The third workshop, led by Marie-Louise Crawley, was centred around the use of the neutral mask. That workshop introduced us to the notion of the body as a tuning fork. All emotions impact the body, resonating through it like vibrations; so before entering into performance mode, and engaging in masked (e)motion, it was essential to explore the notion of the neutral body. 

As we're now ramping up to a showing of work-in-progress on 28th August 2014, it all seems to be slowly coming together; the textual ancient dance testimonies, the techniques and methods we were introduced to in the workshops, and the richness of the texts of Ovid's Metamorphoses are constantly (although not always obviously) supporting and informing each other in all of our rehearsals. At each session we seem to stumble upon something new, and the discoveries we are making range from the span of the incredible skill that ancient performers must have mastered (physical as well as technical and emotional), to questions of relevance of the greek myths to today's world and society(events, human nature, etc...) and of universality of expression of emotions.

Here are some of the more specific questions we're grappling with:
  1. How does character-switching work in narrative solo dance forms? And how do we signal a narrator? Can the dancer express two different characters simultaneously, and their interaction?
  2. What are today's equivalent of the Ancient Myths, known by all? What kind of unconscious collective knowledge can we draw upon to tell danced stories that today's audiences can relate to?
  3. For lack of precise knowledge of ancient dance technique and vocabulary, how do we negotiate our use of our own technique(s)? How much do we improvise? How much do we blend some of our own styles?
  4. Isn't an exercise in reconstruction of an ancient dance form futile? Is this an exercise in contemporary reception of the culture of Ancient Rome? And what might it say about our own society? 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

New works in the making

2013 was also the year when two other project ideas started to take shape.

The first one started its life as an idea to continue evoking memory with Mnemosyne (Laura, Malcolm, and I) but more from a cultural heritage point of view, in relationship with Cultural Heritage institutions, around themes of the right to remember, the right to forget, and interpretations of text-bearing artefacts. Following a call for proposals from ODF, I received 35 hours of Studio space at the OFS. The application was in February 2013, and now, 1.5 year on (well yes, I do have a full-time job as an academic after all - that keeps me well busy!) the project has morphed into a piece mainly inspired by Christian Dotremont. The trajectory of the inspiration for this piece is sinuous, convoluted, but strangely it seems to have settled much closer to my original intention than I thought it would on the way. There was a long phase where my mind couldn't quite seem to grapple what it was that I wanted to express. I started getting interested in Chinese ink paintings and went to a mesmerising exhibition at the V&A in December. The striking discovery I made there was that in the Chinese tradition, there are 5 colours/textures of black in the ink (heavy, light, dry, wet, and charred). At that stage, I was still deep in research, and very little actual moving had occured (a few rehearsals over the Christmas break, with the textures of black in mind). Then I stumbled upon what the Chinese call Dishu - water earth calligraphy (where ink is replaced by water, and rice paper is replaced by the pavements/earth of parks). What a fabulous find that was; writing that is meant to disappear, a real paradox in our Western way of thinking about writing!

[with warm thanks to the original uploader!]

Through water calligraphy, the title of the piece-to-be moved away from Texts and Textures, my original choice and intention, onto Evanescent Inscriptions. And with that came the discovery of the Belgian artist Christian Dotremont and his «Logogrammes». Sadly I missed the 2011 exhibition at the centre Pompidou in Paris (reviewed here).
One of Dotremont's «Logogrammes»
[Courtesy of this other review of the 2011 exhibition]
Caption reads:
"Rugueuse source terrestre
De légères danses neigeuses"
Dotremont was a poet, a painter of writing. He was fascinated by the nature of writing, its materiality. That is what draws me to his work. He explored the space that resides between shape and meaning in the written word... His shapes always make me ponder, his meanings always make me smile, whether light-hearted or full of Beckettian (no(n))-sense.

So here they are, my two heros of the moment: Dotremont and Beckett (they actually correponded with one another and seemed to very much appreciate each other). And they seem to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me! They make me wonder, pause, consider; whatever their utterances and occurrences they remove my need to comment, they move me beyond words - with their words, powerfully!

So here I am now, in the studio, with my head full of those reflexions around the nature of writing, its permanence (or not), its shape, its decipherablity. And I'm loving every second of it!
Here are 7 short seconds of improvised sequence just fresh from last Friday... Whether it'll make it into the final piece or not, I don't quite know yet - it might... :)

The music is a song written and composed jointly by Malcolm Atkins and myself

I think I'll still wait a bit to tell you about the other project I'm working on at the moment, see where we're going with it. Suffice to say for now that it's called Avid for Ovid; it involves Malcolm Atkins, Susie Crow, and myself; and it's a collaboration with the academic research project Ancient Dance in Modern Dancers.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Resuming activity!

This blog has been dormant for some time, but I haven't!
Lots has happened since the last post!

Let's start with what was an amazingly nostalgic experience. 
I went to a dance summer intensive in August 2013 (a year ago already!). I hadn't been to any such intensives in a very long time and I was a little anxious about it. I didn't want to end up in one of those ultra-competitive intensives where the average age is 16 y.o., but I still wanted to be properly worked and challenged. Ideally I wanted some combination of mountain settings and full-on dance... and I found this: http://www.stage-danse-publier.fr/, in the French Alps, with teachers from the Paris Opera Ballet, plus some lovely contemporary classes (amongst many other options!). A quick phone call to check I wasn't going to be the only over 25 y.o. there, and it was settled! 
I loved it, through and through. There was so much nostalgia in walking in the studio. It smelled like home, a mix of wooden floor in scorching heat and rosin (and sweat - let's be honest), the afternoon light streaming through the windows. And everyone seemed to be having so much fun, including the pianist in ballet class, who kept drawing upon French traditional tunes and adapting to the vibes he was getting from the dancers (one day that I was wearing red and black, he switched to a tune from Bizet's Carmen when came my turn to go onto my diagonal of piqués!) - I could hardly stop myself from humming along (not an easy feat to hum and dance at the same time - and breathe!) Here are some pictures...

Stage Amphion-Publier Août 2013
Ballet class 

Photography: Frank Cortot
Stage Amphion-Publier Août 2013 
Contemporary class
Photography: Frank Cortot
Stage Amphion-Publier Août 2013 
Ballet class 
Photography: Frank Cortot


Stage Amphion-Publier Août 2013 
Pointe class
Photography: Audrey Ramière

Stage Amphion-Publier Août 2013
Barre à terre class
 Photography: Audrey Ramière

After that, I went to visit some very dear friends in Lyon, and that was lovely, relaxing, and amazingly resourcing. Those were also the first 2-week holidays I had had in a long while, and, well, it was so worth it!  
I'm not going back this year, but maybe next year?
  
Then there are the three projects that I'm currently pursuing, which all started at some point in 2013:
a Kathak-Ballet duet with Anuradha, a new dance piece with Mnemosyne (for which I got some support in the shape of studio time through ODF), and some experiments with ancient dance.

I don't want this post to drag on too much, so I'll just talk a bit about the Kathak-Ballet duet and keep the two other projects for my next post.

Anuradha Chaturvedi of Drishti Dance  and I had met and improvised together at a Drawing Dance workshop a while ago; she, improvising in Kathak and I, in Ballet. And that was such a lovely experience, where the shapes and feels of Kathak and Ballet seemed to constantly  spark new ideas off each other, that we decided to work on a Kathak-Ballet duet. We called it Presence, and presented it as part of Anuradha's show Aangika in November 2013.

She also kindly invited Mnemosyne to perform Triple-Entendre in the show. And once again I was lucky to have family visit for this, as my mum came all the way from Lorraine to see it!

Presence still feels like work in progress. We would need to clarify our intentions in order to make it work (as astutely remarked upon in  this review); it still feels like we're on to something though, and it needs more work! 

Here are a some photos by my sweet sister, in rehearsal (she was visiting a week before the show) and of the show by my lovely mum:


Anuradha Chaturvedi and Ségolène Tarte in Presence
Still from a rehearsal video

Anuradha Chaturvedi and Ségolène Tarte in Presence
Rehearsal photography: -The Sis'- :)
Anuradha Chaturvedi and Ségolène Tarte in Presence
Photography: -The Mum- :)

Anuradha Chaturvedi and Ségolène Tarte in Presence
Photography: -The Mum- :)
Anuradha Chaturvedi and Ségolène Tarte in Presence
Photography: -The Mum- :)

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

And off we flew on the back of the Winged Horse


« Un seul être vous manque, et tout est dépeuplé ! » 

That's a bit how I feel right now, something's missing, my world feels somewhat empty; although what I miss is not 'someone' like in Lamartine's poem but 'a whole lot of someones and somethings'...
So instead of delving into how I'm dealing with my "post-show blues" (as undoubtedly that's what it is!) and how I'm in the process of resuming life as normal (as in back to work, shifting back my headspace into academia full-time), I will proceed to tell you the story of how the show went :)

Just a way like another to prolong the most enjoyable experience that the whole preparation and presentation of "Triple-Entendre" at the Pegasus Theatre was, really!

In thinking about our programme page, I found myself wondering how much to say and how much to leave to our audience's imagination - retrospectively I realise that I mistakenly assumed that everyone would have a programme - when in fact they didn't (which I realised later, talking to my Dad and Sis' - they sweetly came all the way from Paris to see the show, isn't that something?).

So with that idea of "I want to say a bit what we based our piece on and try to hint at some of the images we've worked with but without being too explicit", I started writing a short text. Some call it a poem, I see it more as clues to what we've been trying to depict. In fact, I was hoping that whether read after having seen the piece or before, the piece and the text would shed some light onto each other.
Our programme page
[Thanks to Raz for his most ingenious suggestion,
which led to using this one of Bella's beautiful pictures as a backdrop to the text]
Based on Lizzy's review on Oxford Dance Writers, it seems it might have done just that... Happy days! :)

During the week running up to the show I also started to rattle my brain as to what kind of good luck tokens I could bring to all of us in the dressing room... I knew we would all be bringing some choccies and all sorts of yummy sweet snacks, but that occasion was so special to me, I thought I ought to do something special too. That's how I discovered origami lucky stars, and here is where I learned how to make them... I used strips of music paper cut 1cm wide and about 20cm long, and, armed with tweezers, I unexpectedly turned into a lucky stars churning machine! The first ones weren't great, but practice makes perfect, and by the time of the show I had made about 250 of them, I think... (yes I did stop to count them, just to see if I could evaluate visually how many I might have made - well I can't!) Here is what they look like - staged just for you in what I like to think of as a memory jar, and set on the original artwork that Suzie Moxley kindly and beautifully made for us and which I used in the video I put together to use as a backdrop during our piece...
To give you an idea of scale, a lucky star is about 1.5cm at its widest.
[Artwork: Susan Moxley]
It turns out that now, more than a week after the show, I miss doing lucky stars, so I've resumed that activity (on and off) in spite of its aimlessness-- and Laura's even jokingly called me a "crazy cabin fever origami woman" on that account!... I love it! ;)


So there we were all: AnaMorphic Dance Theatre (Emma, Steve, George, Matt, Anne, Edie, and Caroline); Ana Barbour and Naomi Morris; Jenny Parrot; Elly Crowther's Ellyfish and Things (Elly, Eluned, Emma, Sarah, and Jude); and Mnemosyne (Laura, Malcolm, and I), armed with our lucky stars, all sweetened up with chocolates, fruits and toffees... and ready to go on stage...
I like dressing room atmospheres. Everyone's busy, we all seem to be taking turns alternating between being really concentrated on ourselves, and joking the pre-show tension away. Then comes the strange disconnect as people come back from having just performed, still a bit in the zone, but with a kind of elation that's miles away from the other zone those who still have to go out there are in - one of concentration, warming up and recaps... Platform shows like "Moving with the Times" are bizarre that way, and it makes me feel sad to not be able to watch the others' pieces, I'd so love to see what they've been up to as an audience, rather than furtively from the wings or on a screen. We were on 4th, out of 5 groups, which meant that by the time the first group was on we needed to start doing our make-up (if it wasn't done already) and warm up, slowly and thoroughly...

And then we were on - onto the Pegasus stage, hoping that the Winged Horse would bless us with a bit of his poetic inspiration and allow us to touch the audience with our piece.
The Zone. Indescribable. I never clearly remember; I'm someone else, but I'm also more me. Involved, entirely, uncompromisingly, bodily, emotionally.

And then it's over.

We had some lovely feedback, from loved ones and from strangers, from dance artists and from dance neophytes. All heart warming and so generous, we are very grateful, and happy!
[But then I don't expect that people who didn't like our piece would walk up to us and say so - it would be interesting though to hear the opinions of those who "didn't understand" or "didn't like it", it might help improve the piece!]

And I do feel so very lucky to have shared this whole experience with Laura and her incredible talent and selflessness,  and with Malcolm and his amazing creativity and involvement. I miss them now!

Here are four of my favourite pictures, all by inspired photographer David Fisher, one for each of the sections in the piece, and each very representative of each one of our 4 tableaux I think:

Laura Addison and Ségolène Tarte
Stuck on the Rail Tracks
Photo: David Fisher

Ségolène Tarte
Angry with the World
Photo: David Fisher
Laura Addison
Tango Mosquito
Photo: David Fisher



























Laura Addison, Malcolm Atkins, and Ségolène Tarte
The Waltzing Hour of Memory
Photo: David Fisher

Check out the Picture Gallery for more stunning pics by David Fisher.

Each of these sections are named after the tracks of Malcolm's specially composed music in tight collaboration with us dancers/choreographers.  A full CD of his compositions, including the tracks of our piece can be found here.  The music soundtrack was amazing, and he played live also on top of the sound track for the show! Have I neglected to say so before? The music was so much an intrinsic part of the piece. Malcolm worked on it hard, and we had lengthy conversations about what we meant or wanted to express. In the end it was as much the dance that shaped the music as the music that shaped the dance. It feels like they support each other on equal terms... 

And if you haven't had enough of all this quite just yet, then do have a look at the Press page for some reviews of the show.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Getting ready to perform "Triple-Entendre"

It's the week leading up to the show.
And -oh, how surprising- I'm freaking out a bit! Well not majorly, but it feels like there's still so much to do!
What's done and ready though should be reassuring:

  • The choreography is ready and complete
  • Our special lights have arrived 
  • The music is finalised
  • The costumes are almost finished (well "almost" and it's been the case for weeks! hummm...)
  • The video is ready (yes I have a bit of a video as a backdrop - it's minimalistic, but should be effective)
  • I've sorted my performer's insurance (that I really didn't expect to have to do - there was no mention of it ever before I received the contract from ODF)
  • Professional photos and filming of the dress rehearsal and of the première performance have been arranged

So what is there to be freaking out about will you say? It looks like things are well on track and ready to go!
Yes, well... yes, but!
My body seems to disagree with all that optimism - I'm still excited of course, we've worked hard on this piece, and the culmination point, the actual show is now in sight, but I feel really tired.
There's always this funny thing leading up to a show where it feels like I should be more regular in class as ever; that's when my body needs to go to class the most... and that's also when I can't go to all the classes I'd like to. With all the rehearsals, in the actual space, in the studio, the tech run and the various last minute touch-ups of all kinds, my schedule won't allow me to go to all the classes I normally go to (and that's in spite of having taken the week off work!). So I just have to make sure I warm up properly and thoroughly before each rehearsal -- I'm no spring chicken anymore - I actually turned forty two weeks ago, after all!
Look what I found in my inbox on my birthday!
Don't you wish you had a sister as sweet as mine?

Forty feels like it's a new beginning, really. And a part of that "new-ness" is putting together "Triple-Entendre", my first choreography to be performed in a real theatre. The piece is on my mind continually; in the morning when I wake up, at night when I go to sleep, throughout the day. It's amazing how much head-space a 15min piece can take!  And I'm enjoying it! Of course this piece comes from my own guts, with the help, support, and hard work of my two amazing accomplices Laura and Malcolm, so it's not that outlandish for it to occupy my thoughts so much!  It's a bit like being on a cloud - I fear the coming down from it, but it'll be time to deal with that when it happens!

For now I'll just keep worrying for a bit... ;)
Next rehearsal is tomorrow, and we ought to try and dance with our costumes - at least once before the tech run and the dress run! Our tech run is on Thursday, and then, well then it'll be the day! :)

So. It's time I'd finish off those costumes, before I go to ballet class this evening, making a stop on the way to see a dance-themed installation  called "Meeting point - Digital prisoners" put together by Naomi and Neil. Doesn't it sound intriguing? Come along! It's free and it'll only be on for three nights/evenings: 26th-28th Feb on Bonn square...